"Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads."
~ Henry David Thoreau ~
Under my feet, my piece of heaven has thistles galore and I spend a lot of time chopping those thistles. I've been told thistles are a bi-annual crop...and I use the word "crop" loosely...and need to be chopped before their flower goes to seed. I've also read they are deep rooted perennials and I can attest to the deep rooted part! This particular pasture stretches from behind me to the road ahead of me, marked by the tree in the right middle distance and where five of the horses and all the sheep range.
I'm not sure if this is Canadian thistle or another variety but it's invasive. Dave used chemicals to
control kill it and other weeds but I use labor.
I'm not sure if what I'm using is called a stirrup, hula or collinear hoe or none of those. Yeah, it would help if I had a better photo but the hoe is down at the barn and I'm up at the house and too tired to make a special trip. I was weed chopping for a couple of three hours this morning and I'm plain tuckered out. It is very similar to a stirrup hoe and I can swing left or right which is handy; it means I can get 'em coming and going or until my strength and energy give out. I even checked Lehman's and couldn't find it there so if any of you are that interested, next time I go to the barn, I'll take a better photo and post it. If you're unfamiliar with Lehman's, check out the link. This Amish owned store has been in business since 1955 and offers a very wide variety of non-electric goods for both home and farm. Located in northeastern Ohio they are a mecca to folks who want to live off-grid and to those who simply want a tool they remember Grandpa or Grandma using. I've never visited the store but it's on my bucket list -smile-.
~ Thistle Cove Farm homestead ~
When I stop to take a rest break, it's so very quiet; the quietest I've heard in a long, long time. No cattle, horses, sheep, birds or running farm equipment could be heard. Every so often a vehicle would drive by but quietness reigns today. The dogs pant and I breath heavily, crickets chirp and a breeze is steady but other than that, it's as if Earth and all God's creation is gathering strength, preparing for Autumn's chill which, in turn, brings the cold, deep, welcome sleep of Winter.
I'm in the middle of the pasture, taking a break from chopping thistles. I've been at it for a few hours and, hopefully, will rid this pasture of thistles before I stop; but, if not, that's okay too. Sweat pours off me, my skin is feeling the sun's rays and there'll be no yoga or Zumba for me today. I watch as buzzards soar overhead, wondering if they are flying wind currents or waiting for something to die.
Dave always cautioned me to take excellent care of my most important and expensive piece of farm equipment.
He'd make sure I had food, water, a hat and would call to me to stop every hour or so and take a breather. Memories, good memories, but I still had a good cry with nothing between me and God save my broken heart. God took my provider and protector, the only one ever between God and I was Dave. Is that why Dave died when he did? Was I leaning too heavily on Dave and not enough on God? I didn't think so but only God knows and He's not saying.
Now I lean totally and heavily upon God; am dependent on Him for protection and provision. Daily, my requests are pretty much the same...Please, Lord, give me wisdom, discernment and protect me and the animals and farm while providing for our needs. It's a daily prayer because it's a daily walk.
In good weather I trudge the pastures, fixing fence, chopping thistles, seeing to the needs of the animals and farm. Daily I do something that will prepare us for Autumn and the deep sleep of Winter.
I tried writing goals for everything but settled on goals for a few main things. The rest is on a to-do list and, again daily, I try to whittle it down. Some days more is added than is whittled and sometimes that's discouraging.
Please, Lord, increase my faith.
The house is a wreck but when weather is good, outdoor chores need to be done. Dave and I met after we'd established households so we each had more than two decades of furniture and goods. Then, his mother moved in with us and she had fifty years of the same. Now is the season of life to decide what to keep, what to give away, what to sell.
Used to be, whenever I'd start work on the house, Dave would say, "Oh, come talk with me." Very rarely did I say, "no" and never regretted saying "yes". Now, I've all the time coming to me to deal with household goods.
The Canada geese are back, on their way somewhere from somewhere else. Their cries rush me to the door, camera in hand as I stand sentinel and wave to them. They always tug at my heart and today, for whatever reasons, is a day for tears.
Blessings ~ strength to do the work God sets before me ~ Canada Geese ~ hoes ~ work ~ my piece of heaven on earth ~